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Peaceful use of uranium

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SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT_________ ' ________31/10/83

Shadow Minister for the Environment, David Connolly, said today the Australian Labor Party is the only socialist Party in the world to oppose 1 on moral grounds' the peaceful use of uranium.

"This 1 stop the world I want to get off1 mentality reflects a desire to escape reality and the ALP1s failure to face the future of Australia and the world," he said.

"Australia's mining of uranium and the nuclear arms race are two totally separate issues," he said. "The former Federal Government has applied the world's tightest nuclear safeguards to ensure Australia's uranium will not be used for nuclear weapons."

"Uranium produces more than 10% of all electricity used around the world today, with Japan generating more than 20% of its power needs from uranium."

"Australia's failure to provide uranium to these countries will have a negligible effect on the arms race and could, in fact, contribute towards further development of fast-breeder reactors which generate plutonium, an essential component in the manufacture

of nuclear weapons."

"With this technology, nuclear armed nations would be virtually independent of; outside suppliers."

"While the Opposition acknowledges the problems of waste disposal, the Labor Party must also acknowledge the growing environmental problems associated with the continued use of carbon based fossil fuels."

"Areas of North: > America and Scandinavia in particular are suffering from acid rain and carbon-dioxide poisoning which is killing forests, polluting water and seriously damaging the. natural and : urban environment*"

"Scientific studies suggest that the continual use of fossil fuels will contribute to a hot^-house effect which may pose serious problems to the temperature of the globe and the stability of the North and South Pole ice caps."

"While alternatives such as solar and wind power and harnessing of sea currents must be encouraged, there is no technical breakthrough in sight which will generate sufficent power to maintain our present and future consumption."

"Nuclear power and associated uranium mining is a necessary world reality, one that Australia can ill-afford to ignore."

Contact: David Connolly 72 7087 Toni Wren 72 6337